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Education / Training Gamo Big Cat – Part 4

Gamo Big Cat – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Gamo Big Cat is an impressive breakbarrel at an impressive price!

This report is a special one. I completed the accuracy test of the Big Cat a month ago, but at the time I said I didn’t like the Gamo scope and mounts that come with the rifle. I promised to return to the rifle one more time and test it with a more powerful upscale scope mounted in a good set of 4-screw scope rings. This is that test.

What I wanted to test was whether or not the accuracy of the rifle improved when the rifle was shot with better optics. The scope that comes with the gun was blurry at the 21 yards I shot, which is pretty bad for a 4x scope. They magnify so little that they should be clear at 21 yards. The scope rings were also suspect because they pulled the scope out of alignment when the two cap screws were tightened.

For this test, I used Leapers 3-12×44 Mini SWAT scope. This short scope has a 30mm tube and is brighter than most scopes in this power range. It has a mil-dot reticle and sidewheel parallax adjustment down to 10 yards. I’ve used this scope in numerous air rifle tests over the past several years, and I know it’s a good one. Compared to the 4x Gamo, it was like looking through a clear window.

I mounted the scope in two-piece mounts of an undetermined nature, but UTG 30mm medium-height rings would have worked better. The rings I used didn’t have a scope stop pin, so I had to use a separate Gamo scope stop behind them to tie into the scope stop hole on top of the Big Cat spring tube.


Leapers mini SWAT scope is small but loaded with features and as bright as you could hope for. The optics are clear and sharp. This scope is three times more powerful than the Gamo scope used in the first accuracy test.

The pellet of choice was the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pelletr, chosen in the first accuracy test on the basis of accuracy and consistency. I started out using pellets straight from the box, but when the results didn’t seem to favor the larger scope, I cleaned the barrel and oiled the pellets. While that sounds like special attention was paid to the gun during this test, I did it to avoid all the “what-ifs” that typically come afterward.

Crosman Premiers straight from the box
Shooting at the same 21 yards and using the same version of the artillery hold as in the last test, I quickly established that the Big Cat wasn’t going to shoot any more accurately, despite using the higher-power scope.


What a teaser this target was. Unfortunately shot number 2 went to the right of the group. You could call it a flyer, though nothing different was noted while shooting. This was a typical group size the first time I shot the rifle with the larger scope, but this particular group was so tantalizing with those four shots in that tight bunch.

After shooting several frustrating groups like the one above, I decided to pull out all the stops and go for broke. I cleaned the barrel with JB Bore Paste and switched to oiled Premier pellets for the next series. The impact point moved up by an inch, but as you will see, very little changed.


Two rounds on the right and three on the left. More teasing! The group size is typical of the rifle after bore cleaning. I re-sighted the scope after cleaning the bore.


A tighter group that promises one-hole accuracy. This was the best I could get the rifle to shoot.

This is a typical group from the last accuracy test. As you can see, it’s not much different.

In this test, the point of impact did not shift as it had in the last accuracy test. You’ll remember the POI was walking to the right as I continued to shoot. Though the Big Cat is very sensitive to hold, the hold is a natural one and neither difficult nor painful. I used a straight artillery hold and laid the forearm in the flat of my left hand. It seemed best to push the off-hand forward of the balance point about an inch. Then, the rifle settled down and shot its best.

What was learned?
First, despite using a much more expensive scope sight that was three times as powerful, the groups were no smaller. Even though I felt better about the sight picture, the expensive scope wasn’t needed for accuracy.

Next, I learned that the Big Cat barrel was not dirty for all the tests that went before. Nothing changed after this cleaning, so the bore must have been in fine shape all along.

I re-established the fact that 7.9-grain Crosman premiers are the best pellets for this rifle. I did try others in this test, but nothing measured up to Premiers.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

117 thoughts on “Gamo Big Cat – Part 4”

  1. Morning John,

    I’ve got one of those scopes on the Talon SS. Truly a great scope, espically at PA’s price point. However, depending upon the size of the gun you’re mounting it on you should also consider its big brother the Leapers SCP#-3124AOMD-A, which is a 3-12 x 44 with a 30MM Tube.


    Thanks for the accuracy redo with the better scope. When I have a gun that shoots groups like those I tend to think it’s me throwing a flyer for some unknown reason. What causes a gun to consistently throw one flyer?

    Mr B.

  2. Hi guys, off topic…

    Last night I had the grips off of my crossman 1377 to work on the trigger spring. Somehow I managed to slide the safety pin out, leaving me with a small spring, a very small ball bearing, and the pin. While trying to put this back together the tiny ball shot somewhere in my living room and is now very lost (the search for that continues 🙂 I put the gun back together without the ball and now I have a safety that freely slides back and forth with no resistance which obviously isn’t very safe at all. Any ideas where I can find a new ball and more importantly, when I do find the ball, is there some sort of trick to putting this back together? I worked on it for quite awhile before I lost the ball and was unable to compress the spring and the ball enough to slide the the safety pin back through the hole. I see they sell replacement safety pins online, so there has to be some way to take these apart and put them back together, I was just unable to figure it out. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


  3. RE: How fast can a pneumatic air gun shoot?

    At room temperature the magic number is 1640 fps.

    See post I added to BB’s column on Tuesday for the details. Basically the limit is due to the fact that the air has to push itself for a “massless” pellet.


  4. Dear BB

    I think the first grouping you got with the Crosman Premiers were great under the circumstances and would disregard the one flyer….
    It could well have been a bad pellet you used and would be hard to identify even if you were looking for a reason not to use the pellet…..
    Have you considered using the JSB’s 8.44grain pellets in the rifle…..? I find them to be very consistent and true for accuracy up to 35 yard levels….


  5. Aaron,

    your 1377 looks very much like my 1300 and I, too, lost the spring and tiny ball bearing while replacing seals. Unlike you, I have given up looking. BB had said that John Groneweld may have those parts. You can do a search and find his name and web address or e-mail. I’m sorry, I didn’t make a note of it. As for assembling, on the 1300, the ball and spring drop into a small hole drilled into the top rail located on the side, of the trigger group. This is with the safety pin already installed. The spring pushes the ball bearing up against the pin providing the detent to stop the pin from sliding. The group can then be pushed up against the receiver, compressing the spring and then screwed to the receiver. I imagine your 1377 assembles the same. Hope this helps.

  6. Aaron,

    Sounds like you need to find the missing part of replace it. Contact crosman with your part number. Here’s a link to the crosman site where the exploded diagrams live. Make sure you click on the appropriate model of your 1377 (first variant is with steel breech, second variant is with plastic breech, third variant shoots pellets only with a brass bolt, etc.). Here’s your link:



  7. Kevin and Fred – Thanks guys. I’m thinking I can get the ball bearing here locally once I figure out what size it is(which is one of the few benifits of being in the automotive supply business right now) But I’m still kind of stumped on the installation. I was using a very small pin to compress the spring by pushing on the ball (which was sitting on top of the spring) and trying to create enough clearance to slide the safety pin into the hole. I couldn’t quite seem to get the spring compressed enough to create enough clearance?


  8. Kevin – I think the exploded parts diagram did the trick. It looks like I’ve got to put the safety pin in place, remove the breech, slide the ball and pin through the hole and then re-install the breech. I wonder why I didn’t think of that before 🙂

  9. Aaron,

    go to the Crosman website and review the schematic there (towards the bottom of the screen). Your airgun is almost identical to mine. Crosman also says “some parts are still available”, hence the need to see Mr. G. The diagram will show you that the ball bearing dropped in the hole first (as it shows on the diagram and as it did on my gun) and then the spring, which will stand partly outside the trigger frame. It will then compress when the trigger group is pushed against the frame to attach it.

    I got to tell you that the only time I ever came across a BB this small was when I took apart my Shimano shifter on my bicycle for cleaning. You have to wonder how small the assemblers’ hands are to get all those tiny parts together 🙂

  10. Aaron & Fred,

    The ball bearing for the safety is a 3/32" ball bearing and you can get one at the hardware store. Fred, sorry I don't know what the dimensions of the spring are. I know I looked at our local hardware and didn't see a spring to match it. You can get the either part from Crosman by calling them with the part# from the exploded diagram. The spring and ball bearing are commonly lost.

    The easiest way to install those is to remove the breech & barrel and then there is a little hole on top of the air tube where they go. The ball bearing goes first, the spring next (with the safety in place first). Be careful not to loose the steel sleeve or rubber seal that go between the breech and the tube (those parts seal the transfer port). The rubber seal sits recessed in the tube on top of the valve.

    You can also look at the Crosman Airgun Forum for instructions. The search is helpful, but you need to get the right terms.

    I've lost that ball bearing and spring a couple of times!

    Hope that helps.

    .22 multi-shot

  11. Aaron,

    Sorry, follow Fred’s instructions, not mine! You remove the frame from the bottom of the tube and don’t have to remove the breech/barrel.

    Oops! Worked too late last night!

    .22 multi-shot

  12. Aaron,
    You can use a set of drill bits to get the diameter of the ball bearing (largest drill that fits freely in the hole). If you succeed, let me know your source – I did the same thing to the arbor for my hole saw.

  13. LOL…1377 safety ball and spring, pretty common story. I like my trigger better without it plus the adjustable sear I added. Load only before you shoot and don’t point the barrel at anything you cherish. Just because an airgun has a safety, doesn’t always make it safe.

  14. Mr. B.,

    Flyers have many causes. A pellet that weighs substantially more or less than the rest in the group may fly. A pellet with a small skirt may fly. If the barrel of the gun isn’t tight is can throw pellets wide.

    The challenge is eliminating all the possible causes until the last one eliminates the flyers.


  15. RE: Flyer

    Considering all the groups, I’d be reluctant to call the “stray” shot in the first group shown a flyer. Small sample statistics are awful. That is the whole point of using statistics instead of guessing. Your brain is wired to find patterns, and it will find patterns even when none exists.


  16. BB, I’m trying to think of a way of checking breakbarrel lock-up consistency. I’m thinking a barrel-mounted laser and a scope – the laser will always point where the barrel points, and the scope will always point where the rest of the gun points. Align them together, open and close the breech, and check to see if they’re still in alignment.

    Whaddy think? Of course, that won’t find any lockup shifting that occurs during the firing cycle.

  17. accidently posted this on the feb. scope blog at the bottom.

    anyway, does anyone know which pistol from umarex is quietest:colt 1911, beretta 92fs, walther cp88, or desert eagle? my brother has a s&w 586 8-in. barrel and it is pretty loud. Pyramidair states on the specs of the walther cp88 that it is 4 med-high on the loudness scale putting it above the beretta and colt which are 3's.

    Are their optional compensators helpful in terms of improving velocity and accuracy? A customer service employee from pyramidair said they were.

    Is the beretta xx-treme worth the extra money over the walther nighthawk? I have read many great reviews of both but some say that the nighthawk is toy like – something that i do not want. will they both shoot accurate out to 20-25 yards?

    Anyone with any luck taping the beretta mock silencer to make it silenced. B.B. said that it does little to reduce noise.


  18. Vince,

    That could turn out to be a very important piece of diagnostic hardware! Naturally the laser has to be attached stone-solid to the barrel, so nothing can move it.

    My gosh, imagine the old wives tales it could disprove (or prove!).


  19. BB,

    The groups with the cheap scope in the wind actually look a bit better, despite moving to the right. It looks like parallax error today, since its hard to see why the rifle itself would start shooting looser groups. At 12X (if you used it — far too much for 21 yards:)), the parallax adjustment would need to be spot on, or your cheek weld extremely precise, preferably both.

  20. R7-dude,

    The question that you haven’t asked is what is a quiet air pistol.

    Most spring air pistols are quieter than CO2 guns. And the Daisy 717 and 747 are both pretty quiet.

    Trying to be quiet with CO2 is like being quiet with dynamite. By its nature it doesn’t want to be quiet.


  21. Thanks for the info guys, I fixed the safety today on my lunch break. The bearing is indeed a 3/32. I'm not sure about the spring because fortunately I did not lose it. All I had to do was remove the frame from the bottom of the compression chamber by removing the the two screws (one at the front of the trigger gaurd and the other behind the grip) then I put the safety pin in place, slid the ball in the slot followed by the spring and then put the two pieces (frame & rest of the gun)back together in the upright position to press and hold the spring into place. Then, holding the two pieces together by hand, flipped the whole thing over to expose the screw holes. I got it all back tightened up and it's as good as new!! Thanks again for all the help.


  22. i realize that spring guns are quieter, i just want to have a repeater gun and so i assume co2 is the best option without going to the expensive pcp guns.

    does anyone know if the izh-baikal mp-514k is any good? it is pretty cheap and a repeater that doesn’t take co2.

  23. OT…way OT.
    Was in one of our local gunshops this weekend. It is a place that sells a lot of tactical gear as well as firearms. It has the reputation where the kind of people shop who subscribe to Sodier of Fortune. Not the kind of place I frequent often, but they are the only place in town to get Spyderco knives.
    Anyhoo there was a fellow down there from Washington, who was buying all the .223 ammo they had. Explained that he was making the rounds in Canada because of how hard it was to get in the U.S. because of the military’s use. Mentioned that he already hit some stores in Vancouver and Calgary.
    The clerk asked him if he was a dealer and buying it for resale…basically just chatting him up.
    But his response was “no, with the economy crapping out and that black bast*** we just elected I’m preparing for the meltdown later this year”.
    At that time I started to inch away from him.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  24. Aaron,
    You fixed the safety on your lunch break?! I didn’t know lunch breaks had safeties. I could have used one of those. Before I retired, I don’t know how many lunch breaks went off before I was ready.

  25. CowBoyStar Dad,

    Thanks for sharing that story, I get so pissed off when people judge Obama because he is black, George Bush is white as snow and what the hell did he ever do for the economy? In Obama’s first two weeks in office he signed a tax cut that’s gonna give that a**hole in the gun store extra money in his paycheck every week that he can use to buy the ammo that he plans on using for what? To defend himself, to overthrow the government, or probably more likely, to drive around the back roads and shoot the hell out of stop signs.

    Sorry, sore spot.


  26. CBSD,

    Maybe we should start an IDIOTS WITH GUNS thread.

    We used to live off the grid at 4000' in N Calif. My wife and kids were walking the county road, harvesting blackberries. They ran into a very crazy young gentleman sitting in a Cadillac with the door open, holding a .44 magnum revolver on his knee.

    As my wife and kids came up, he said to them, "Have you seen anyone messing with my dad's Cadillac? I'm gonna *&%^% them up good if I catch them!"

    My wife kept trying to get the kids to melt back into the woods but they were too scared to leave her. Finally the guy said to himself, "Well, I guess I should load this here revolver," and proceeded to do so. My wife and kids were able to slip away unnoticed.

  27. I need to revisit the airsoft topic with you folks. I think I might have a need for it.

    I've been providing an air gun venue for my grand kids (now 11 & 12 years old) to teach them familiarity and safety with guns. I'm wondering now if airsoft would be a better choice. They are more interested in general plinking than precision target shooting at this time and their enthusiasm seems to be waning.

    How disastrous would it be to have three pre-teens rapidly firing airsoft projectiles in my basement? There is no rapid fire capability with their pellet rifles so things do not get out of control.

    They are trained to wear safety glasses and do a better job of remembering to wear them on their own than I do reminding them.

    I provide 100% supervision.

    They shoot into a pellet trap, and at a target taped to a box, and at a metal .22 rimfire auto-reset NRA target. All these is back-stopped with 3/4" plywood faced with carpet to minimize ricocheting.

    Pellet cleanup is easy as they seem to end up either trapped or gathered within a two foot area in front of the targets.

    If I switch them to airsoft:

    1) how much ricochet can I expect,

    2) how much more cleanup am I going to face,

    3) how much less dangerous will it be,

    4) how much cheaper will it be

    5) how much adult supervision should there be.


  28. B.B.

    Is there any limited set of candidates for conditions that produce good groups but a consistent flyer or two? I remember BG_Farmer reporting this problem. It seems unlikely that a barrel would produce this particular problem. Perhaps something in how the parts are put together. Or, in my case, it was the trigger. The B30 after tune-up was shooting somewhat like this, but after reducing the trigger pull, the flyers except for the ones I cause seem to have disappeared.

    Alas, the racist freak at the gunstore is not in a minority judging by the giant jump in ammo sales. Not only is surplus 30-06 ammo and match .223 ammo backordered but so is 30-30! I have hundreds of dollars sitting in outstanding back orders. On the plus side, the run on guns and ammo may restart the economy if this keeps up. I do not know of any other sector of the economy behaving like this.

    Otherwise, to paraphrase the Bible, the oddballs you will always have with you. In the case of the survivalist above I wonder if he thought the policies of the previous administration were better-calculated to avoid a meltdown. There is also some humor value in a certain segment of the paramilitary subculture. I was reading an article on SCAR which is billed as the most expensive self-defense workshop that is run by a Vietnam veteran. The author was going through the program as an investigative reporter taking all of the bumps and bruises, and he asked other participants why they were committing to such a regimen. The answers included: “Someone has a contract out on me.” and “The next time the IRS comes through the door, I’ll be ready.”


  29. Aaron & CowboyStarDad,

    I don't care what political party they are, what their skin color is, what their hair color is, etc. I just care what the color of their heart is. Unfortunately, we can't see that! Fortunately, we can eventually start to see it in their actions.

    .22 multi-shot

  30. Aaron, I’m not tryin’ to get political but just keep one thing in mind… those in government have their motivations. Almost always the first is to look good. The second is less obvious and subject to conjecture. “Put not your trust in the princes of men” is immensely sound advice.

    Don’t be surprised if the president isn’t really doing what you think he’s doing. And don’t be surprised if ‘government help’ frequently does far more harm than good.

    A lot of very reasonable people have voiced some very reasonable concerns about what’s going on right now. Perhaps the guy in the store was overreacting, but at least he seemed to be doing nothing more than preparing to defend himself, even if the perceived threat is of questionable likelyhood. And let’s face it – the right to defend outselves, even against threats that others deem unlikely, is a right that most of us would tend to support.

    As for the racial slur… I’ve known good people who might have uttered a similar phrase to describe someone… and the ethnic adjective is strictly descriptive while the expletive is motivated entirely by what they say or do. Just as the phrases ‘old fool’ or ‘young punk’ don’t necessarily betray a bias based on age, a flippant remark like that might mean less than it appears.

    I’ll stop now…

  31. Matt,

    About 135 years ago, another man asked the same question about accuracy. His name was Dr. Franklin W. Mann. He spent about 38 years studying the problem, and then wrote his findings in a poorly written report he called “The Bullet’s Flight From Powder to Target.”

    Dr. Mann was obsessed with the X-factor. The thing that, after all other things have been accounted for, causes a bullet to fly inaccurately.

    He never discovered the one thing. What he discovered were dozens of things that jointly affect the bullet’s flight and which can interact in ways we cannot imagine.

    If you really want the answer to your question it is somewhere in Dr. Mann’s book, and nobody knows exactly where.


  32. I believe the great jump in gun and ammo sales has nothing to do with President Obama’s color. It is his ant-gun stance. I think most of the sales are by non-fringe people who are buying now (have been since his candidacy, really) because of their fear the Democrats will make them more unpurchasable in the future. They want to get grandfathered in with their weapons and ammo now in the hope they’ll get to keep them since they were bought before the “coming ban”, if there is one. Kinda like the semi-auto weapons ban in the past. If you can produce a valid receipt you can keep your gun.


  33. Aaron,
    Pick the person who says something in the beginning of the election and can repeat that at the end of the election. As for Obama, actions speak louder than words so look at his anti-gun history.
    Shadow express dude

  34. CJr,

    I have done some training with my kids using nerf, airsoft and pellet/bb guns. I think that if you follow the rules, they are all safe. Its when you don’t follow the rules that there are different levels of danger.

    I may be a fanatic about gun safety, but I don’t even let my kids go around shooting each other with nerf guns. I think your habits with the “toy” will translate over to “real” guns.
    I saw a friend of mine get shot by an “unloaded” gun so I guess I am a stickler!

    My kids always shot at one of those sticky targets with airsoft so there was no bounce back. There was no backstop, so if they missed the target, they missed the target. Never did a lot of airsoft shooting, so cleanup wasn’t a problem. However, someplaces I’ve been, I’ve notice airsoft bb’s here and there on the ground. If you shoot outside, you might consider the bio-degradable bb’s.

    .22 multi-shot

  35. Concern over gun control is a reasonable reason to stock up on guns and ammo in my opinion. Blaming the economy on Obama’s blackness on the other hand is very unreasonable.

    Sorry I helped turn this into a political debate. All of us on here may never share political beliefs, so hopefully we can keep talking about the thing we do have in common, the love of our hobby!!


  36. Just a random tidbit for whomever it may interest:

    A friend of mine recently bought (and soon thereafter stupidly broke) a Tech Force model 89. When he showed it to me and asked what the problem was I noticed that the sights don’t match the specs I’ve seen in any of the reviews I read, the pictures I’ve seen, or even those listed on Compasseco’s own website.

    Instead of the rear notch and front metal blade arrangement, it had fiber optic sights on it. They reminded me a lot of those one the RWS 34 Panther- green dots on either side of a square notch rear sight, and an orange dot on a post for the front. Even the plastic piece supporting the front sight looked quite similar to the one on the 34P.

    There were a couple differences though. The notch on the rear sight is a bit deeper than the one on the 34. The post supporting the front fiber optic element is rounded on top and a bit narrow for my liking if it were to be used simply as blade sight to match with the rear notch. But I’m not sure if that even matters; is there a situation where you’d be ignoring the front bead? If not, than the sights work just fine.

    Also, the front fiber optic element does not have a globe protecting it. It is, however, attached in 3 places as opposed to the Panther’s 2, and the distance between the three supports is also lesser than the Panther. So the sight itself is actually fairly sturdy compared to the one on the Panther, but as I said— there’s no anti-clutz mechanism (globe) protecting it.

    I don’t know how this compares to the previous sight sets, but the rear sight is still adjustable for windage and elevation. It’s all metal and clearly labeled. The elevation adjustment was a thumbwheel with good, crisp detents (or nice clickiness for the people who think like me.) The windage, however, looked like it required a flat blade screw driver. I didn’t have one handy, so I didn’t get to see how well it worked.

    Refreshingly enough, neither sight had any play to it and both seemed solidly built and attached; I’ve heard that’s sometimes a quality control issue on the Chinese rifles.

    Oh, my friend also weighed it, and it came in a half-pound off spec. Unfortunately, I can’t remember if it was over or under spec 🙁 . Aside from that and the sight change, I can also vouch that the thing was, as BB put it, “big and beautiful.” Good bluing, and a beautiful stain.

    Just though I’d share about the sights.

  37. B.B.

    Ah yes, the irrepressible Dr. Mann. Perhaps his book is like The Book of Five Rings by Japanese Super Samurai Miyamoto Musashi from the 15th century which reported to explain all the secrets of combat. It was apparently in vogue among Wall Street executives in the 80s however, it is almost incomprehensible; it makes Mann look like a model of clarity. On the other hand, one finds oneself returning to individual Musashi aphorisms with increased understanding over the course of years. Maybe in old age, I will get it.

    I thought the cases where the gun grouped well except for a flyer or two might be a special case with an answer, but I suppose this is of a piece with the complexity of the whole problem–which includes a psychological element.

    All, I was expressing a bit of frustration with the lack of available ammo, but I guess I can’t complain since I’m hoarding with the best of them. 🙂


  38. FYI: The springs that are in old Bic lighters are a very handy source for replacing the small springs found in the safety assemblies mentioned above. They are about 3/32″ or so in diameter and about an 1 1/2″ long. Just cut to the length needed. Hope this will help someone in need of a small spring. Robert

  39. Herb, et al:

    If I may politely burst your “magic number” bubble, there really is no reason a pneumatic rifle can not push a pellet well beyond 1600FPS. Yes, the air molecules have to travel faster than sound, but that is no big deal.

    The explosion from the shell of a normal firearm creates a huge mass of expanding gasses, (air molecules), that push normal projectiles at speeds as high as 4000FPS. Many of the air molecules actually exceed this speed.

    A springer, a pump, a PCP all propel the projectile on essentially the same principle as the firearm – release a rapidly expanding mass of gasses behind the projectile in a cylinder open at the opposite end.

    The theoretical speed is in no way limited by the technology creating the air mass.

    For sure, we will see springers approach 1700 and 1800fps in a few years, as engineers scrounge more bits of wasted energy from current power plants.

    In fact, I predict we will see the true practical value of such guns, as they learn to keep the projectile above supersonic speeds through to the target, (it will likley require new pellet designs).

    Once there, we can enjoy effectively flat trajectories for short-range hunting, FT, and such.

    Jane Hansen

  40. Matt,
    My flyer problem is still valid, and has nothing to do with the air rifle or firearm. Thankfully, its limited in scope: whenever I shoot for groups at a paper target, the penultimate (love that word) shot flies, distance being inversely proportional to the size of the group. The final shot will go back into the ruined group:). Its all mental, since it doesn’t depend on the number of shots I intend to put into the group:).

    Your amusement with the Japanese Samurai novel reminds me of an episode of News Radio, where Jimmy James goes to a public reading of his memoirs, which after failing to sell in US had been translated into Japanese and become a best-seller, at which point they were translated back into English — sort of.

    What’s next — people going faster than 20mph on trains:)?

  41. Jane,

    RE: “There really is no reason a pneumatic rifle can not push a pellet well beyond 1600FPS.”

    I disagree.

    In a firearm there is not only pressure but heat. Sound travels faster in hot gas than at room temperature. That also means that the gas molecules are bouncing around faster in a hot gas than a cold one. In a firearm the bullet exits the barrel before the gases cool due to heat loss to the barrel.

    So the statement that “A springer, a pump, a PCP all propel the projectile on essentially the same principle as the firearm – release a rapidly expanding mass of gasses behind the projectile in a cylinder open at the opposite end” is wrong. A pneumatic pump rifle and a PCP do not make the gases hotter.

    A springer can go faster than 1640 fps since it heats the gas as well as compressing it. But just starting with compressed air the 1640 fps limit seems right.

    I’m sure that BB will believe you and not me, so I’d ask that you rethink this.


  42. You know – that’s a great idea – use a drill bit to determine the diameter of a hole. That’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that”. The spring from a disposable lighter – another superb idea. Of course, learning that tiny BB is 3/32″ saves me tons of time and trouble. My thanks to all.

    As for the run on ammo, I understood it to be due to a bill in Congress from 2006 mandating a serial number be added to the casings and this number recorded to whom the box of ammo was sold to. With a Democrat in the Whitehouse, all the nervous gun owners now think the bill will be passed and are running to stock up so they won’t be forced to buy registered ammo. Notice I said this bill has been hanging around since 2006? For those that don’t know the site, I like http://www.snopes.com.

    Unless it’s coming from this blog :), I don’t believe everything people send me. And now, back to the debate on how fast air molecules can travel

  43. Why not switch to the topic….
    “how fast can a airgun shoot on helium ?”

    Lighter gas with smaller molecules that flows through constrictions easier.
    Lighter weight gives it less inertia to slow up expansion.
    Less energy required or wasted accelerating the gas itself.


  44. twotalon,

    I was in the Dollar Store getting some balloons the other day and got wondering about using helium to power my PCP’s. I agree with you. Anyone got a reason not to try helium?

    Mr B.

  45. Twotalon – your comment about the helium, along with all the theorizing that has gone on hear lately about how fast pellets can go, made me think of one of my all time favorite BB posts. Without his permission (I hope he won’t mind) I am going to paste a portion of it here. I hope you enjoy as muh as I do. Thanks BB, this is classic…

    “I believe shooters have to pass through distinct stages before they are ready for the best airguns.

    Stage 1. Velocity!
    This is the reason Gamo markets the Raptor pellet. Beginning shooters only know one thing – if the gun doesn’t shoot at least 1,000 f.p.s., they don’t want it. That’s the reason some marginal airguns are advertised at 1,000, even though they don’t break 900. Velocity shooters own chronographs (or want to) that they stare at for hours, trying to decide if they like or hate their airguns.

    Stage 2. Caliber!
    This is the Harley-Davidson stage. Shooters want the absolute largest caliber they can find. Know how to ruin a 9mm airgun owner’s day? Tell him there’s a 10mm!

    Stage 3. Energy!
    The caliber shooter discovers that energy is a factor of both velocity AND projectile weight. This is the modified Harley stage, where the jugs are bored out and a nitrous oxide injector is attached. PCP shooters talk about filling their guns with helium in this stage.

    Stage 4. Accuracy!
    Shooters in this stage spend all their time looking for the smallest possible spread of pellets, center-to-center. Some shooters become corrupt and start bragging about three-shot groups as if they were the same as five-shot groups, when all the while five-shots are a shortcut for ten-shot groups that actually determine relative accuracy. They buy dial calipers and shoot only from a bench. Many use vices to hold their guns, and the really perverse ones stop speaking to other shooters altogether.

    Stage 5. Enlightenment!
    Few shooters reach this stage, but those who do have some chance of resuming a normal life, or what passes for one where they live. They admire all aspects of airguns and speak of their continual amazement that pellets can do what they do powered by nothing more than just air! They speak in simple sentences and have the innocence of a child. They sit on toadstools and drink ambrosia while the nymphs cavort in the dappled sunlight of the deep forest.”


  46. RE: helium

    Speed of sound in helium is about three times that of air. So you should be able to get pellet going much faster using helium than with air. However helium is a small molecule. You are likely to encounter leak problems with helium that do not occur with air.


  47. Mr B and AAron
    I have heard that a PCP screams at outrageous velocities on helium, but goes through gas faster than the government goes through our tax money.

    You have it figured out.
    I find that my Talons are easy to manage on air with ordinary pellets. I enjoy shooting 5 shot groups that look like one shot groups.


  48. I am what my son-in-law calls a “Bluesteel Democrat”–someone who votes Democratic, but who also loves airguns, firearms, and shooting sports.

    Where does this crazed idea come from that Pres. Obama hates guns?

    He said loud and clear, over and over, he supports the Second Amendment and has no intention of taking away our guns.

    Yet, I read all the time on gun forums that some great Democratic Party conspiracy is about to tear all our firearms (and maybe even airguns) away from us.

    This is pure drivel.

    There may be a Congressional reenactment of the ban on assault weapons, but what has that to do with real sportsmen and women?


    We don’t need automatic assault weapons to hunt or to target shoot (cometitively or informally) or to plink.

    Moreover, the Supreme Court has just settled the question of how the Second Amendment pertains to individuals: as a general rule of law, we are all entitled to our guns.

    The self-serving officials of the NRA have apparently brainwashed a large segment of the gun-owning public. What a shame.

    Watch and see what happens and what the President actually does.

    In the meanwhile, let’s all keep on airgunning and shooting for the right reasons–it gives us great pleasure.


  49. twotalon – I have to correct you and say that BB has it figured it out, not me. Sadly, I am stuck in stage 4, Accuarcy. And to be perfectly honest with you I never really experienced stages 3 and 4, caliber and energy, because living in Michigan we are pretty limited in caliber (.177 only, unless you ship ffl), and I guess I’m not quite smart enough (or peacefully oblivious?) to under stand energy. But I’ve felt the pain of velocity. For awhile I hated my first gun because all the reviews I read on the internet said it didn’t live up to it’s 1000 fps claim!! ( I don’t even own a chronograph, just believed evey word I read:) But eventually, I got over it when I read that pellets weren’t accurate at that speed any way, which launched me right into stage 4. And I will admit I am guilty, I have bragged about many of my amazing three shot groups!!


    P.S. Word verification was threeshotgroup..weird

  50. Aaron,

    Oops on the helium. I thought that by now I’d be past stage three.


    Maybe a modified paint ball tank flex hose hook up straight to a bulk tank for a nonportable way to shoot and play with using the gas.

    Which of you have used helium and how’d it work? Alot of us would like to hear about your experiences with it. Thank you very much.

    Mr B.

  51. Leon, since you asked…

    President Obama doesn’t seem to mind guns per se, he just has certain ideas about who should be able to own and carry them:

    “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry”

    “I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer’s lobby.”

    “I think we can provide common-sense approaches to the issue of illegal guns that are ending up on the streets. We can make sure that criminals don’t have guns in their hands. We can make certain that those who are mentally deranged are not getting a hold of handguns. We can trace guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers that may be selling to straw purchasers and dumping them on the streets. “

    (my observation: ‘common sense’ would very much indicate that we can never “make sure” criminals can’t get guns, or that government can “make certain” of any of the following statements)

    (source: http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Barack_Obama_Gun_Control.htm)

  52. Leon,

    I don’t know what to say to you my gun loving brother other than please google President Obama’s voting record in Ill and in the US Senate. You are right actions do speak louder than words.

    When you say we don’t need automatic assault rifles to hunt, target shoot or plink or what’s a ban on assult rifles to real men and women all miss the point. I don’t need to give the govt a reason, because my Constitution and it’s Bill of Rights that established and gives our govt its powers specifically excluded its’s ability to infringe upon my God given right to Keep and Bear Arms.

  53. Vince-I have to say I agree with quotes two and three from your comment.

    I haven’t heard of many good things that have come from having assault weapons in the city limits of places like Detroit, Flint and Saginaw, which I believe are all commonly in the top ten highest capital murder per capita city’s in the country. And why not keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally deranged??

    And if I’m not mistaken, concealed carry is primarily governed by the states government?


  54. trying to ban guns from the wrong people is like making certain drugs illegal. people will still get them through the black market. banning assault guns etc. will only keep upstanding law abiding citizens from getting them.

  55. Mr B
    The helium tanks you get in the stores for baloons are usually low pressure tanks like you would buy freon in. Not enough pressure.

    You would have to find some high pressure cylinders from a gas distributor. I hear that high press helium is expensive.

    I doubt that accuracy would be good with pellets.


  56. I don’t shoot pcp’s and helium makes me talk funny(er).
    My personal feelings about obama aside,he does have a history that looks awfully anti-gun to me.That added to rumors like raising taxes on firearms and ammo 500%(I have no background on this it’s just a rumor to me as stated)and other rumors all over the net it’s no wonder there’s a huge run on guns and supplies.

    Have to say I still don’t get the urge for speed most have about pellets.It seems to me AG’s and their pellets are deign specific limited and perform excellently within those limits.
    BUT WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT IT?I’m just a happy slinger:)
    Seems like for the money and energy some put into it a LEGALLY silenced .22LR or MAG.would serve much better.Yeah I know,some people just wanna push the limits cause they can,to each their own.


  57. Aaron
    I had a long reply typed up, but must have goofed and dumped it.

    You learn over time. You may have a rifle that can be very accurate with the right ammo and you know how to handle it right. We expect it to be easy until we find out that sometimes it is not.

    There will always be a limit to how any one gun will shoot. Some are good right out of the box while some will never cut it.

    You need some luck and some knowledge .

    You also have to decide what is good enough to make you happy.


  58. Mr B – I hate to question the word of the constitution, fortunately the first ammendment gives me the right to do so, but the second amendment was written in the time of single shot, flint-lock smoke poles. I bet if they had 18 year old gangsters hopped up on crack with nothing to lose and an uzi in their hands within the city walls, they may had worded the second ammendmant a little differently. We have to adapt with the times, the beautiful thing about the constitiution is that it gives itself the ability to be flexible based of the collective pulse of the nation that abides by it.


  59. Twotalon-Sorry you lost you’re comment, I’ve had that happen too, but I do agree with the comment you left.

    I’m ecstatic I have guns I can shoot in my house!!


  60. Aaron,

    The founding fathers were indeed wise when they wrote our constitution, for they provided a means for it to be flexible that also depended upon stated will of the people that was to be expressed in concrete terms rather than anything as ill-defined as the collective pulse of a nation. That flexibility comes in the form of a defined means to amend it, which has been used repeatedly over our history resulting in amdendments arrived at by true concensus. This is a much better mechanism than depending upon the will of 5 men in robes because it’s much harder to fool all the people all of the time as the old saying goes.

    As for muskets and flintlocks. The founding fathers had just finished fighting the reigning military power of their day, and they used all of the weaponry at their disposal including the most technologically advanced available. A cursory reading of the Federalist papers reveals that they had little qualms with ensuring that their progeny would operate under the same freedom to arm themselves with the most technologically advanced weaponry of their day as well. These men were not unaware of the advance of technology.

    Food for thought.

  61. Aaron,
    There is no such thing as an assault rifle. However there are many assault weapons.

    My favorite assault weapon is a rock or a stick. Very effective when you need to make an assault and always handy.


  62. Aaron I completely disagree with you”adapting to the times”is just another way of saying go along with the loudest crowd.That means being politically correct.I hate PC because it’s just a way for groups to force individuals to think and speak the way they want.PC infringes on the right to free speech.As for the constitution being “flexible” I think it should be the most inflexible document there is.Being flexible just means any powerful group or figure can bend or twist it to meet their agendas.
    Just another uneducated opinion as always.


  63. RE: Limiting speed for pneumatic air gun

    Dumb move for me to try to make it Jane vs me!

    I wasn't smart enough to figure the relationship out. The researcher was Dr(?) Arnold E. Seigel of the United States Naval Ordnance Laboratory.


    The most pertinent part is section 11, which starts on page 32 of the pdf file, page 17 of the text. The limiting case is presented in equation 11-8.


  64. Aaron,

    It is already illegal for a criminal or someone with mental problems to purchase a gun from a gun dealer. Of course, criminals being criminals, they simply ignore the laws and buy their weapons on the black market. When you disarm the good citizens, it makes the bad ones that much more dangerous; hence, it is not an fluke that the cities with the most stringent gun control laws also tend to be the most dangerous.

  65. props to jTinal

    if only the founding fathers knew how far America has come from its roots. People need to start thinking about national security and trusting in Jesus instead of pc and culutural diversity because another 9/11 will happen eventually when we are least prepared. by then it will be to late


  66. Bobby Nations
    Thanks for the link,good video.
    He’s going the right way in debunking the media myths about weapons.
    The 2 AK’s(if Russian)and the saiga are nice sporters in 7.62×39 made in a plant in the Soviet Union.they are about as accurate as the ruger mini’s,although the mini 14 is .223 he should have used the min 30 that’s also 7.62×39.None of them are really great for hunting as they are only designed for minute of bad guy accuracy,but they are fun plinkers:)
    My only big gripe about the vid was that he ejected and let 2 live rounds hit the concrete.In a video like this and with his rank and experience safety should be tops.


  67. Aaron,

    You are 100% correct. The Constitution and The First Admentment acknowledge your God given Freedom of Speach. However, in keeping up with the times and since the founding fathers had no electronic way of “speaking” that little clause, doesn’t apply to TV, radio, computer e-mail, etc. We only use govt approved words in any electronically transmitted medium.

    That’ ok with you, right Aaron? The philosophy in both examples is the same.

    Mr B.

  68. Well, there has certainly been a lively discussion going on about rights and who are the gun grabbers! Thanks to everyone for staying civil.

    The first amendment, the so-called Freedom of Speech amendment, does not mean what the majority of people THINK it means. It DOES NOT give anyone the right to say anything!

    It prevents CONGRESS from making laws governing the right to speak freely, assembly peaceably, to petition the government for a redress of grievances, for the press to operate freely and for the establishment of religion.

    It says NOTHING about anyone’s right to say anything they want, and therefore it is still illegal to yell, “Fire” in a crowded theater. The owners of this and every other blog can eliminate any comments they don’t like or agree with and nobody’s rights are being violated.

    The right to keep and bear arms is not subject to limits, despite the interpretation of the government.

    The articles in the original Bill of Rights (of which ten were ratified in 1791) were demanded by the states that had not yet ratified the new constitution. They feared the federal government might have too much power and therefore wanted clear limits placed on the federal government in the constitution.

    The term “Assault Weapon” is credited to Adolph Hitler, who labeled a certain German WWII weapon a Sturmgewehr. To be an assault weapon, the gun had to be capable of fully automatic fire, meaning that as long as the trigger was depressed, the gun continued to fire until the ammunition was exhausted.

    Anti-gun politicos have bastardized the term “automatic” to include semiautomatic in those cases where the rifle LOOKS like its full-auto cousin. I’m speaking of the AR-15 that resembles the full-auto M16. However, they often CLAIM to have no problem with other semiauto firearms. So the subjective APPEARANCE of certain guns has been used to condemn them. Both the news media and Hollywood have helped with this campaign.

    And the semiauto AK47 and AK 74 is been tarred with the same brush of the military selective-fire (capable of both semiautomatic and full-auto fire) AK 47 and AKM. So now the left says that any AK-like firearm is an “assault weapon.” I used the quotes intentionally to indicate that it really isn’t true.

    I used to debate weapons styles with people, but the flaming anti-gunners and their ability to lie like Hitler and get away with it has caused me to stop discussing styles and to close ranks with all gun owners on this point. I may not personally enjoy an AK-styled rifle or an AR-15, but I will support the constitutional right of any American citizen to own one or 100 of them if they like.


  69. All:

    This discussion on the right to own guns and freedom of speech illustrates one of the truly wonderful aspects of our airgun culture. Even though we may disagree hotly, we keep it civil and try hard to listen as well as speak.

    This is an amazing trait that I absolutely love about this blog/forum.

    It a privilege to disuss and dispute with you all.

    By the way, despite my stand on “assualt weapons” (which I take to mean fully auto weapons that have little or no recreational value and can be shown to be used extensively by criminals to outgun police–see the trouble on the Mexican border in Ciudad Juarez where the drug gangs get their automatic weapons from sleazy Am. dealers), I recognize it is hard to draw the line.

    I now live in a relatively safe rural area, but I just moved from a city where crime was encroaching on formerly crime free neighborhoods, and I can understand the value of home protection.

    Keep up the civility, and shoot tight groups–preferably on paper targets, not human beings.


  70. B.B. – Thank you for writing that old report, I go back to it often and hope to find myself sitting on that toad stool someday!!

    JT, Mr B, Vince, Bobby and all –

    I certainly respect all of the opinions you folks have expressed as I hope you can respect mine. The gun control issue is clearly not cut and dry and I think it’s pretty clear that there are some good and bad points on both sides of the fence. I want you guys to know I love guns and the shooting sports. I hope the government never takes our guns or the ability to buy and collect them away from us, because I can see that we here on this blog are mature, responsible and safe shooters. But you have to admit the actions of some not so mature, safe and responsible individuals have certainly brought a lot of scrutiny to our second ammendmant rights.

    I also appreciate the civil tone we have all managed to keep, personally I hate to argue, but I do love a spirited discussion!!

    Safe and Happy shooting guys,


  71. Leon,

    The troubles that Mexico has are of their own making and not the fault of ‘sleazy Am. dealers’. The drug cartels are using fully automatic weaponry along with grenades and recently even mortars. None of these things can be easily purchased over the counter here in America because of the National Firearms Act passed in 1934. You almost have to give up a kidney to get a Title II weapon now, so it’s definitly not where the drug cartels are obtaining the heavy stuff. If reports are correct, they’re simply raiding the armories of the Mexican armed forces or buying them on the international market where such weapons are easily (and cheaply) available. Stratfor has many good articles (some available with no fee or registration) detailing the security situation in Mexico and around the world.

    I’m not disputing that Mexicans are buying weapons here in America and transporting them back to their homeland, but said trade is mostly regular citizens arming themselves with what you might call regular old guns for protection against said cartels and the kidnappings that seem so rampant in our neighbor to the South. They have to travel here to do so because it’s virtually impossible to legally purchase or own a weapon in Mexico. Once again, when a government disarms it’s good citizens, the bad ones have more power.

    Glad to hear that you escaped from the city to a safer environment. Having grown up in such a rural place and now living in a city, please allow me to give a warning — predators are everywhere even in the safe places. So, be please careful out there.

  72. B.B. & All,

    Busy day yesterday…

    Looks like I missed a lively discussion!! Great points made.. very tricky territory.. In this world as it is, and as it has been for so long..

    The first Congress got it right, long, long ago.. It looks like there will always be some folks out to hurt or steal from other folks.. they need weapons to do that.. and the other folks need weapons to defend themselves..

    The first group has them already.. or will get them at all costs, legal or not.. so how can we stop the legal folks from protecting themselves?

    I'm what one would call a "liberal" and I have just got into firearms late in life..

    But I have always felt this way about the right to own firearms.. it's a tricky one.. in a perfect world.. but that ain't the case, is it?


  73. Leon, paper targets are good practice for human beings! I, myself, hope to be good enough with a firearm that if I ever have to use one against a bad guy, I can reliably shoot to disable rather than to kill.

    I do understand the concern about wanting to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and kooks, but (as Chesterton wrote many years ago) there is a lamentable tendency to let the abnormal rule the normal. One might argue that this is the path to security, or low crime, or economic prosperity or whatever. But the one thing is for certain – it is NOT a path to freedom or liberty.

  74. gunpug,

    No need to do that because I can tell you exactly what would happen. The gun would lose all vibration and the accuracy would stay exactly where it is. Testing dozens of gas spring conversions over the years has taught me this.

    I will say that the Big Cat will be much like the Whisper with the gas spring conversion, because it is so much like it with the factory spring.


  75. Hi again!

    I know this is a bit off topic, but I came here looking for advice a few days ago and I was helped by both B.B. and a man that goes by Kevin. I am currently using the Walther lever action long rifle and for the most part it’s becoming a joy to shoot, however I am still running into some problems. Initially the rifle had trouble firing the RWS hobby pellets because the fit in the rotary clip was far too snug and they were not seating flush with the clip. I was advised to shove them in just a bit further with the tip of a ball point pen, which worked well, but still left me with some problems. Mainly when I do that the pellet fits so snug that the gun seems to lack the power needed to fire it. After some experimenting (and a lot of wasted CO2) i began to get frustrated with the Hobby pellets and shelved them, using instead the tried and true Gamo Match pellets. With very few exceptions these little guys do the trick for reliability and accuracy, especially in my rifle, but the odd pellet or two still gets stuck and it’s usually due to the variation amongst them. Some fit more loosely than others and those are the ones that seem to perform the best. I have even tried lubricating the inside of each pellet slot with airgun oil so as to reduce the friction. This works to a certain extent but it’s costly both in terms of money and time spent and it seems like it may be hurting my accuracy a tad. My question for the airgunning community is this: is there anything i can do to maximize the dependability of my air rifle and keep it from getting ‘”stuck”? I would love to go out and be able to shoot without worrying about a pellet getting stuck in the clip especially since I plan to use this gun for NRA sponsored events (the accuracy is superb) where any propellant expelled from the muzzle of the rifle is counted as a shot and if no pellet accompanies it then it is counted as a miss. If anyone has some advice for me please send it along.

    Many thanks for your time,


  76. Alex,

    I must agree with you that lubing the magazine for every shot is cumbersome and it wouldn't surprise me if it affects accuracy. I must agree with you, I'm not sure this is the "fix".

    You're doing the right thing in trying different pellets and seating them all completely. Wadcutters (like the rws hobby) in 10 meter shooting are preferred (NRA sponsored event?). The right pellet for accuracy (not crosman premiers in your gun) AND seating is critical. I would encourage you to continue your search for the appropriate pellet with a small enough skirt that will seat properly AND be accurate. I have a tight fitting .177 caliber spring gun that likes rws diabolo basic, h & n finale match and rws meisterkugeln's in that order and I believe it's because these pellets have smaller skirts and don't seat as tight as other pellets in my gun.

    Buying a tin at a time is expensive if you're only testing one gun. You may want to consider buying a pellet sampler where you get 25 pellets each of 25 different pellets. Unfortunately Pyramyd AIR doesn't carry pellet samplers but if you google it you will find other airgun dealers that do.

    You may also want to consider getting a pellet sizer and size your pellets by hand.

    My fourth suggestion is to ask your question of all the other airgunners currently communicating under B.B.'s most recent article. You posted this question under the article B.B. did on March 5th and his most recent article was written yesterday, Friday, March 13th. I'm going to copy your question for you and post it on the current blog for all airgunners to see. Go to this link tomorrow that will take you to B.B.'s current article, scroll down to the bottom of the March 13th article and click on comments. Scroll down through the comments until you find where I've posted your question and continue scrolling down until you find where other airgunners have provided their insight and hopefully an answer to your dilemma. Here's the link:


    There's an enormous number of experienced and helpful airgunners on this blog and I'll be very surprised if we can't help you figure this out.


  77. Alex,
    I hope you made it to the current day’s blog (Friday 3/13) There is some really good info about your problem there. When you get to the comments section there do a find on alex to bypass all the other comments, then read down from there. There are several replies to your comment there.

    If you haven’t been able to let me know by replying on this day’s and I’ll watch for it.

  78. Sniper,

    The Crosman Phantom is very similar to many other chinese made airguns that are copies of the bam b19. Here's an overview by a very knowledgeable airgunner and tuner named Vince:

    "The Sierra Pro, TAC-1 Extreme, Phantom, G1 Extreme, Storm XT, and Remington Summit are all based on the Crosman Quest breakbarrel built by BAM of China (the same people who make the B26, B30, and B40). This gun used to be known as the BAM B19 (before Crosman imported them), and was for quite a while one of the better guns out of China. The B19 itself was a copy of the Gamo design (not a clone, some parts do not interchange).

    The only real differences between models are things like the stock, sights, and accessories. In general the rifle is not made as well as the Gamo series that it's based on, but in my limited experience they seem to be getting better. The QC can be a bit spotty, but Crosman customer support is quite good and they actually make many service parts (like springs, seals, and triggers) available to the general public. That's something that Gamo does not do, and as a result there's more than a few Gamo's around with Crosman parts in them! Oddly enough, there is one tuner who reports that the Chinese Crosman springs actually last longer than the origin Gamo springs.

    The guns sometimes suffer from loose stock screws and breech pivot bolts, both of which are easily fixed by the owner. Also, the wood-stock models can have poorly cut clearance notches for the rear sight, which means the sight can hit the stock when the gun is cocked.

    The rear sights (on models that have them) are flimsy and have poor adjustments, but the sight picture is actually pretty good. Oddly enough the fiberoptic front sight blade is quite robust, far more so than the Gamo sight.

    Overall, they tend to be decent shooters – power is right in the Gamo Shadow/Big Cat/Whisper/etc. league, and accuracy (with tight screws!) is close enough that I can't the difference. They are reasonably easy to shoot – not terribly heavy or hold sensitive. The triggers are similar to the Gamo design, but not as well made, and tend not to be as smooth.

    I've got 5 of them – a Phantom, 2 Quests (.177 and .22), a Sierra Pro, and another Quest that I detuned into a youth shooter with a lighter spring from Crosman (very easy to cock and still has good power)."


    Another source for first hand information on many of these guns is available on the Pyramyd AIR website. Just click on the gun and scroll down to the bottom of the information on that particular gun and read the "Reviews". There must be over 50 reviews when you combine these guns. Here's a link, that you will need to copy and paste, that will take you to the Crosman page with all the models that Pyramyd AIR carries:


    If you have any questions that Vince's comments don't answer or that the reviews don't answer I would encourage you to ask them on the current blog. You can access today's blog by going here:


    Look forward to seeing you there!


  79. BB,

    I have a big cat and love it so far. I have put about 1200 pellets through it so far. It seems that the scope is now not sighting in. I am at the extremes of the adjustments and dont know what to do. It is shooting low and to the right. I have the stock scope and rings on it.

    My second hope is that you can point me in the direction of what I should do for maintenance now.

    Thanks so much and great blog!

  80. Ser,

    For maintenance, let’s wait until you have a few thousand more shots on the gun or if there is a problem, such as a strange noise or feel when cocking. These guns can now go for 10,000-15,000 shots before requiring any maintenance.

    From your description, it sounds like the scope has quit. Cheap scopes will do that. But maybe not.

    Shooting low and to the right sounds like you used up most of the scope’s elevation when sighting in. If that is the case, your erector tube springs are just relaxed. You can put shims under the scope in the rear ring. Two thicknesses of plastic soda bottle will be enough, I think. Then re-zero the scope and it should be okay. If not, you need a new scope.


  81. Thank you for the help. How does the elevation and lifting the rear of the scope help with the the fact that it is shooting to the right too much? I do like this gun, but I will try to return it due to the scope issue. If They take it back, what rifle would you suggest I replace it with? If I go with the Big Cat again, I see that you use the Leapers 3-12×44 Mini SWAT scope in your review, would you suggest that scope or is there another one? Will the stock Big Cat rings mount that Leapers scope? (you said you used a no name mount) Thanks again for the fast response to my previous post.

  82. Ser,

    I am leaving on a business trip in a couple hours and cannot answer your questions for several days. If you will ask them on the current day’s blog, we have many readers who can answer you:


    If you lift the rear of the scope it will look down. That will bring the pellet strike up, in comparison.

    I think the Big Cat is a great buy. Throw the scope away and it’s still a bargain.

    Get new rings, too. Get two-piece medium rings and a nicer scope. You don’t have to spend the money I did. A nice Leapers scope can be had from under $70.


  83. How does it compare to other gamo rifles like cfx or shadow 1000. i have a big back yard (1 1/2 acres behind house) with tons of trees and a brick fence between me and them but how does it compare to other noises?

  84. I dont know if you have ever herd one but is it any louder than a paintball gun? I herd in your podcast that the normal spring gun is about as loud as a loud hand clap but the big cat is rated at medium high vs. the shadow 1000 and cfx are medium, is there a big difference or is a cfx just barely quiet enough to be rated at medium?

  85. The Big Cat is not louder than a paintball marker.

    There are probably 2-3 decibels difference between these three airguns, but if you are looking for a quiet spring rifle why aren't you looking at the Crosman Nitro Piston that is significantly quieter than any of these?



  86. npss Is expencive and i am not really going to use it that much. i would love a gas piston rifle but big cat is the only one under 250 with a scope and the scope really isnt worth using according to your article. I may buy the big cat with a stock spring and then buy rings and a leapers 3-9×40 scope and i think it would be a great shooter for $220. Then add grt3 and gas ram when i decide to get more serious. I dont know a lot about airguns, i just want a air rifle that will let me upgrade as i go because a big cat is only $130 completly stock. Tell me about any air rifles in this price range that are good buys. I want my air rifle to last a long time so im looking for quality. I choose gamo because they seem to be better than crosman yet cheaper than rws and have more upgrade options.

  87. Well, the Gamo Big Cat certainly is a great value. Your ideas makes a lot of sense to me. I don't think there is another air rifle that inexpensive that I can recommend.

    I do like the Mendoza RM 200, which is even less expensive than the Big Cat and comes with open sights. Of course it isn't as powerful as the Big Cat, and I suppose that makes a difference to you? You are going for a .177, which is why I ask, because .177 isn't a well-suited to hunting and critter control as .22 caliber. But the Big Cat is still probably your best bet.


  88. i want .177 because its cheap and like i said i will not use it much just probably one weekend a month in the back yard shooting plinking targets but i want power so i can do pest controll and small game hunting. Can you recomend some pellets? thanks you have been a big help This blog is great!!!

  89. I've been reading on the blog about scope stops and how rws is so terrible when it comes to scope mounting. How is the big cat and what about the gamo whisper and npss. do they all have good scope stops? and i have a condor question too, i know its not in my price range but i just think it would be nice to own one of these in years to come. can you power a condor with a 4500 psi high pressure air paintball tank. They are regulated down to 800 psi and have the same threads as the co2 condor tank. just think of a carbon fiber wraped bulk co2 tank but filled at a higher pressure with h.p.a. kinda like a scuba tank but smaller.

  90. Okay, here goes. Airhog (another AirForce dealer) has used a carbon fiber tank to power a Condor. You do get a lot more shots. It's the same thing as towing a trailer filled with gasoline behind a Ferrari. You can drive a lot farther because you have that extra gas. Of course it ruins the fact that you are driving a Ferrari, just as putting a football-sized air tank on a Condor destroys the look and feel of that rifle.

    I have reported extensively on the scope mounting problems with the Gamo Whisper in that report. The scope rail is aluminum and it got seriously deformed when the vertical scope stop pin gouged out the scope stop hole.

    The big Cat has a hole in the steel spring tube for the stop pin to enter, which is fine.

    The NPSS is made by Crosman, who understands recoiling air rifles, and the scope stop is identical to the Big Cat. In other words, it is correct.


  91. Anonymous leaning towards a gamo big cat,

    B.B. is on the road. He will probably have an answer for you in the morning.

    I've been following your dialogue with B.B.

    The gamo big cat and the npss require a lot of technique to shoot fairly accurately. Assume you've read all eight parts of the articles that B.B. has done on these two guns? The gamo big cat (4 part series) and on the npss (4 part series)? If not, here's a link to part 4 of the npss and parts 1-3 are at the top of this article so you can read them in order:


    Here's the link to the gamo big cat articles:


    There's a search box on the right side of this page and reading everything you can find about the "artillery hold" is critical. Without mastering this technique you will think that the rifle you choose (whether it's the big cat or the npss) is not accurate and will give up on spring guns before realizing how important the artillery hold is to shoot either of them accurately at more than 20 yards.

    Now to give you my opinion about your question of "if i do get a big cat and upgrade it like i said will i have a better rifle than an npss in the end? Accuracy and light cocking effort are 2 big concerns."

    Even with the grtIII trigger it will never match the npss trigger after it's adjusted correctly. The cheek piece on the npss is also adjustable and helps with accuracy. Gamo big cat is not adjustable. After you install the gas ram in the gamo big cat you may like the firing cycle as much or more than the npss but I would doubt it. Cocking effort of both guns is similar but the npss has less effort (30 lbs. vs. 38 lbs) and if you shoot for a long time you will like less cocking effort.

    Your primary concern has been cost. Understandably. If we compare the package deals (with scopes) the gamo whisper on the PA site is $225 and the NPSS is $299. I know the NPSS comes with a good scope (Center point 3-9×40) but don't know the quality of the scope on the whisper (you need to talk with PA about this). Assuming the scope on the whisper is equal to the NPSS scope, after you've added the grtIII trigger and a gas ram to the whisper you have more money in the gamo whisper than the npss.

    Here's the big deal in my mind. RESALE VALUE. The npss has been embraced by the airgun community. It's a good gun. The resale value is strong now on the npss. With rare exception, Gamo's do not have a high resale value. Whether you decide to trade up into another airgun or get out of airgunning this has to be a consideration for you ($$$).

    If you like the gamo whisper look, invest in a RWS 34 panther. Great gun out of the box that can be made even better and when you want the majority of your money spent on that gun you'll get it back (german quality).

    Last but certainly not least. Considering the high velocity of both guns they are more efficient in .22 caliber. Yes, .22 caliber pellets will cost a few cents more but the gun will be more efficient and if, as you say is a possibility, you use the rifle for pest control, .22 caliber is MUCH better.


  92. Anonymous,

    Sorry. I made a mistake and quoted the price of the gamo whisper. The big cat, as you said, is $139.00 with the 4x scope. Add the center point scope and a mount with rings (like the ones on the npss) and you have $200.00 invested. Even at $200.00 (not $225.00) you're into the gun for more money than the npss after you add the trigger and gas ram.


  93. Well I don't know what I could add to what Kevin has already said. He gave you a very complete breakdown of your decision.

    I can say this, though. In my experience, a person is better off following his own inclination than taking advice from others. If the NPSS fails to satisfy you in any way, you will just blame the advice you were given.

    Why not just do what you feel inclined to do? The Big Cat is a fine airgun, and, as you see in the reports, very accurate for a breakbarrel, when the artillery hold is used. The trigger will never be as good as the trigger on the NPSS, but that doesn't mean that it's bad, either.

    I would follow my heart on this. And with the bBig Cat, you do have the option of going slowly and stopping at any point.


  94. Hi there, i have just found your blog n it is very helpful as i am a new boy in town. My name is Nasir n i am from Malaysia. Here we have very limited definition in sports especially when involving new n xtreme sport like airsoft wargame n airgun competitions. Anyway all airsoft n airgun enthusiasts keep growing day by day..including me. Now I have slowly started n as a beginner, I already hace JG M4A1 Carbine, Meister Glock 17(GBB), Crosman C11 n Crosman C11 Tactical.

    Now I'm looking forward to get/buy parts for Gamo Big Cat 1200. I really apreciate if you could suggest me the place where I could buy trigger set and compression tube for it and willing to ship orders to Malaysia. I really hope you could find one and let me know.
    (sorry for my english)

    Best Regards


  95. So about the laser bore sighting, has anyone tried a laser boresight tool on this rifle? They work great on other weapons. I think that would answer a great deal of non-political questions about this rifle. I am certain that the barrel does not always lock in at the exact same POI every time. I think it would take a incredible engineering to do this. My question is how much does the barrel actually float around every time you break it.

  96. this gun has plenty of power to kill large racoons i know this because i shot one myself although the accuacy isnt so consistant with my big cat it is still a fine gun for the price. oh and dont get disapointed if u cant sight your gun in with the pba ammo that comes with it ive used it in some of my very accurate cosistant guns and i cant hold a group worth crap behond 10 meters

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